What Ever Happened to Flex Hours?

 Now, before you skip over my hard work, this is NOT another lament on how to keep the millennials happy.  I’m suggesting these flex hours could be the key to keeping you happy. As I’ve said many times before, my 40 years in this industry have been spent on the the road observing just how

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Beware the Tyranny of Success

The good news is that our economy has recovered to the point where we can all enjoy a little success which might have eluded us in these last years.  However, my sticky note today is based on a very old quote ” Beware the Tyranny of Success”.  I think we can appreciate the irony in

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Departing Can Be So Sweet—If You Plan

So . . . I retired this week; now there’s a “Sticky Note” for you. It was bittersweet as I walked out the door for the last time after 35 years. I don’t intend to totally stay away, after all, I’ll still be active in the industry and will rely on their help every once

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Space Makes Waste

  I’m sure that many of you grew up hearing the phrase, “haste makes waste”. I’d like to borrow on that sentiment and direct it in a new way, “SPACE makes waste”. As I’ve said before, my career at Stiles has given me the privilege of visiting many of you in your shops. Lately my

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ROI = Return on Influence

If I can assume for a moment that my readers are seasoned business professionals, then I might also assume they’re dedicated to many different performance metrics, not the least of which is the standard; ROI = Return on Investment. However, this sticky note asks that you concentrate on a different ROI or Return on Influence.

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Ideas at Work

Many of my friends are serial entrepreneurs and manufacturers. Most run their own business and wear many hats. A common refrain is a lament that “I just can’t seem to get anything done.” “I have all these ideas and yet nothing happens.” Welcome to a world that’s filled with opportunity and yet, oddly enough, these

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Take a Vendor to Lunch

Other than your family and employees, who’s more critical to your business than a valued supplier/vendor. Beyond the overused “partner” marketing speak, aren’t these supply chain participants just as critical as your banker? More to the point, I’m not suggesting that sharing a burger will change the world or even get you a better price.

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Our North American Woodworking Industry is Alive and Well

Sticky Note Message: Pat yourself on the back as a member of the team! I recently had the privilege of attending the International Woodworking Fair (IWF) in Atlanta, Georgia. According to the organizers, the attendance this year was around 15,000. This is similar to the record attendance of 2008, but while 15,000 is great, this

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Stand Out with Distinction

I ran across an interesting quote the other day that reflects a marketing challenge not often well characterized. “A distinction without a difference.” Tricky, right? I talk to people in our industry all the time who struggle to break away from the “sameness” that’s infecting their marketplace. It seems their expertise was being buried by

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Heading to Atlanta—IWF2016

So you’re heading to Atlanta for IWF (International Woodworking Fair) in August…. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that leaving home and family (kids out of school) during a peak vacation month to travel to downtown Atlanta in August is not way up there on the list. However, this is a unique and important event

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